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If you have been arrested for drug possession in Illinois, you could be facing serious consequences that could affect the rest of your life. It is important that you understand what you're up against in order to best defend yourself.
What are the charges against you?
In Illinois, depending on the amount and type of drugs found in your possession, you could be facing misdemeanor charges or felony charges. If you are convicted (note: you are ‘convicted' either after a trial decision or if you plead guilty to it) of a misdemeanor, the punishment could be one or more of the following: not more than a year in jail, probation, community service and fines. If you are convicted of a felony, the punishment is more severe with punishment possibly being many years in jail.
How does the amount of drugs affect the charges?
Within the categories of misdemeanors and felonies, there are classes broken out by the amount of drugs in a defendant's possession. With respect to marijuana and within misdemeanors, the classes are as follows:
- Class A misdemeanor – Possession of more than 10 grams but less than 30 grams of marijuana
- Class B misdemeanor – Possession of more than 2.5 grams but less than 10 grams of marijuana
- Class C misdemeanor – Possession of less than 2.5 grams of marijuana
Within felonies, the classes are as follows:
- Class X felony – Possession with the intent to distrbute (e.g. deal drugs)
- Class 1 felony – Possession of more than 5000 grams of marijuana
- Class 2 felony – Possession of more than 2000 grams but less than 5000 grams of marijuana
- Class 3 felony – Possession of more than 500 grams but less than 2000 grams of marijuana
- Class 4 felony – Possession of more than 30 grams but less than 500 grams of marijuana
- If you have been convicted of similar offenses before
- If you were found with drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamine or heroin, among others (charges will depend on the amount found in your possession.)
- If you were found to be in possession within 1,000 feet of a school, church or public park
What if I'm convicted or plead guilty?
No one can say for sure what your punishment will be but this is what you will be facing:
- Class A misdemeanor – Up to a year in jail; fines up to $2,500
- Class B misdemeanor – Up to 6 months in jail; fines up to $1,500
- Class C misdemeanor – Up to 30 days in jail; fines up to $1,500
- Class X felony – Up to 6 to 30 years in prison
- Class 1 felony – Up to 4 to 15 years in prison; fines up to $25,000
- Class 2 felony – Up to 3 to 7 years in prison; fines up to $25,000
- Class 3 felony – Up to 2 to 5 years in prison; fines up to $25,000
- Class 4 felony – Up to 1 to 3 years in prison; fines up to $25,000
Every case is different and depending on the facts and circumstances under which you were arrested and charged, you may have a defense – it could be a defense you never thought of but one that an experienced lawyer might recognize after hearing your case. So, it is in your best interest to hire a criminal defense lawyer who has a track record of success in drug possession cases like yours. You never plead guilty to a criminal charge, even if you are guilty, without first exploring the options for getting the best result possible.
If you would like help in finding the right attorney for your unique case, contact us at any time. All calls are free and confidential. The attorneys we recommend aren't free, but they will give a free consult and have a great track record of defending drug charges in Illinois. We can't promise you a result, but we do promise that we will only suggest a law firm that we as attorneys would hire if we were in your shoes.